Pretty odd title for a Coach who spends her days challenging her clients to think bigger, go deeper, and push farther in their pursuits, huh? Bear with me.
This past Saturday, I tuned in to CBC’s Definitely Not the Opera. I always enjoy it and rarely have the radio on (living an iPod existence has seemingly eradicated the need for a stereo) so driving around doing errands afforded me this rare pleasure. I was pretty disappointed when I heard this week’s program title: “In Praise of Good Enough”. In fact, I had an almost visceral reaction when I heard that. I mean, really: “good enough”? How lame. How pedestrian. How beige. Definitely Not the Opera was Definitely Not for Tanya this week.
But I persevered. Am glad I did.
It forced me to look at my own relationship with “good enough”. And why “good enough” has never been good enough for me. AND what the cost of that can be.
Let’s take this blog, for instance. I am no writer, yet I adore writing to my blog. It is for my pleasure (as I have discovered that I enjoy writing) and hopefully for others’ pleasure too. So why have I not written a post in over two weeks?
I have read somewhere and made a rule for myself along the way that each and every blog post MUST be truly profound, OR hilarious, OR transformative. And as such, this line of thinking has become a very compelling reason to NOT write when life is busier than usual. I mean really…how convenient is this?: “there’s no point in writing today…I have nothing to say that anyone will care about”. So I don’t sit down and write, denying myself that pleasure AND feeling guilty about letting myself down in one fell swoop. Clever, huh?
This is a pretty common plight: our relationship with perfectionism is the very thing that can stop us from launching. And quite simply, stopping short is what keeps us stopped short.
In Linchpin, Seth Godin points out that he has written over a hundred books, most of which didn’t sell very well. And that Picasso produced over a thousand paintings, but most of us can only remember three of them. (Please do read the book for 236 pages of head-nodding goodness). He points out that the work is in creating and being fearless enough to launch. Whatever the outcome.
So today, I invite you to settle. Serve a dish that isn’t spectacular. Turn in a report that isn’t completely buttoned down. Assume your readers will forgive a less-than-transformative blog post and hit “publish”. Just this once, go for “good enough” with me.
And who knows? It may end up being the next Linchpin, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, or The Sound of Settling (wildly popular song by Death Cab for Cutie - ironically, the writer didn’t think it good enough to share with his bandmates and held on to it for a long time).
If this post helped even one person evaluate their own relationship with perfectionism and helped them to move forward, then that’s good enough for me. In fact, that’s fantastic.